Film reviews

Jeepers Creepers 2, Dir: Victor Salva - Cert: 15

Ok, before I start this review, let me just say that if you haven't seen the first one you would be wise at this point to either stick some headphones on, sing "Lalala" to yourself at a very high volume or alternatively I suppose, you could just hit the "Back" button on your computer.

Anyway, I guess if you're looking for a "leave your brain at home" jumpy action type thriller, then you could do worse than give this a whirl for your money. It delivers in that respect, being relatively entertaining for the most part. Personally however, I found this installment a little too long - something I always gauge by how many times I have ended up checking my wristwatch during the film. Now, I LIKED the original "Jeepers Creepers". What impressed me about THAT one were several things - for a start the first one had a far creepier feel to it. The overwhelmingly sinister truck, the seemingly mad cat loving elderly lady, the starnge "psychic" woman - all of these added to the overall eeriness of the movie. Then of course there was the element of surprise in the discovery that the teenagers' evil pursuer was not in fact human at all, but some kind of...er...THING. Of course I would concede that producer Victor Salva couldn't really have played that same card again but I think he perhaps would have been wiser in leaving the original as a standalone piece, complete with its rather macabre ending that leaves the viewer thinking "Er...yes well..that was a great film, but that wasn't REALLY the end...was it?"

The problem for me with this sequel lies partly in those missing aspects that served the original so well, but mainly in the meandering storylines. For example you have an interesting subplot in which one of these high school kids has a chip on his shoulder because most of his team mates that his coach has chosen are black. This seemed as though it should eventually have been an integral part of the movie's plot, but no, the guy gets killed halfway through the film and you wonder what the point was in including such a theme when it ends up having such little relevance.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying that this is a bad film. In fact, of the three AD writers who attended this press showing, I was the one who enjoyed it least - the other two liked it. So hey, don't let me dissuade you from going to see it. In fact, I thought it started off in a most promising manner, with the camera panning on on Ray Wise (of "Twin Peaks" fame) doing his best Billy Bob Thornton impression and giving the film some much needed light relief at times. For the flick to keep viewers enthralled for the first 45 minutes when practically every ounce of the action has taken place within the confines of a bus is some achievement, and there are enough witty, tongue in cheek one-liners to keep the audience amused. BUT, on the downside, there is little character building and I for one found myself not giving a rat's arse whether any of them managed to get through the film without their heads being bitten off. At least in the first one you could sympathise with the plight of Justin Long and Gina Philips' characters.

Incidentally a word of advice folks - should any of you ever be faced with a similar situation to the kids on the bus, if your winged tormentor has been shot/fallen over/gone quiet, it is not, repeat NOT a good idea to stick your head out of the hole in the roof to make sure!

So to summarise, if you like films where the entire storyline consists of monsters killing people and vice versa, then perhaps this is the one for you. For those of us with a smidgeon of intelligence however, this falls way short of the trailer's proclamation that it "surpasses the original in every way". It doesn't even come close. 6/10


Tone E


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